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Ice Age Puppy: 12K-Year-Old Remains Could Tell History of Man's Best Friend

Ice Age Puppy: 12K-Year-Old Remains Could Tell History of Man's Best Friend
(Archive of NEFU Mammoth Museum)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 March 2016 01:53 PM EDT

The remains of what appeared to be an Ice Age puppy have attracted researchers worldwide to the far northeast Russian region of Yakutia, and some say the bones could date back 12,460 years.

The hunters first found the bones of the frozen puppy in 2011 in a remote area bordering the Arctic Ocean about 2,900 miles from Moscow, according to Agence France-Presse. Scientists found a second puppy last year in nearly the same location, where researchers believe the canines both died at about three months old.

"To find a carnivorous mammal intact with skin, fur and internal organs — this has never happened before in history," Sergei Fyodorov, of the Mammoth Museum of the North-Eastern Federal University in the regional capital of Yakutsk, told AFP.

Fyodorov told the Siberian Times that if the puppies were actually domesticated, they could have belonged to woolly mammoth hunters.

"The condition of our new find is perfect," he said. "It is preserved from nose to tail, including the hair. You can see the hair on the paw on the picture."

"The find of the new remains was pure luck. We had no inkling we would get it. But having worked there for a full hour, at the beginning of the second hour, some two meters away from the first find, and down the rock, we saw the front paws and the head," Fyodorov added.

He told the AFP that the mammoth bones found in the same location suggest that humans were there because those animal remains had been butchered and burned. He told the news service, though, that the research has not answered the question of whether the dogs were domesticated or wild.

"Thus far, the lineages of wolves that likely gave rise to dogs have not yet been discovered and it's possible that these puppies could be on that lineage, which would be very exciting," evolutionary biologist Greger Larson, of the University of Oxford, told AFP.

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TheWire
The remains of what appeared to be an Ice Age puppy have attracted researchers worldwide to the far northeast Russian region of Yakutia, and some say the bones could date back 12,460 years.
ice age, puppy, found
323
2016-53-29
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 01:53 PM
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